A quaint Algarve hamlet situated high in the cool wooded mountains of the north-western Serra de Monchique, Monchique is a wonderfully peaceful escape from the bustling Algarve coast. Close to the highest point of the Algarve - Foia - Monchique provides stunning views over the surrounding landscape, a spattering of traditional restaurants and a taste of Algarve history.
A series of narrow, criss-crossing streets make up the town of Monchique as it climbs up the sides of the valleys which surround it. Pleasant squares, little cafes and restaurants and generally cooler temperatures, Monchique is the perfect place to spend a day exploring or to base yourself for adventures in the surrounding areas or down to the Algarve coast.
Nearby Caldas de Monchique is another draw to Monchique. Caldas de Monchique is home to Roman baths, built on top of the natural spring waters and still in use to this day at an established treatment centre.
Various remnants of history make up Monchique, and a range of architecture spanning three centures gives you a real feel for the Algarve of the past and present. These include the charming Santa Teresa chapel and its landscaped gardens and the ruins of a 17th century convent up on the valley wall.
Due to recently upgraded roads, although Monchique may sound and look remote on a map, the journey to nearby Portimao, Alvor or Carvoreiro really only takes 30-40 minutes by car. You could also visit Lagos, Ferragudo or Armacao de Pera. Albufeira is around an hour away.
Remember, this is the Algarve, so almost anywhere you go you'll be close to some stunning beaches.